If you”re familiar with the movie business, you know how hard it is to come up with a good sequel. “The Godfather, Part II”, “Terminator 2”, and “The Empire Strikes Back” are among the few films on this short list. The new iMac is a sequel worthy of being associated with these films.

The original iMac was introduced three years ago and many have said that its design is outdated. It took Apple two years to design the new iMac and their attention to detail shows. Its design was purportedly influenced by the outward appearance of the sunflower. It exudes an elegance that very few consumer electronics capture.

Its design, to put it mildly, is unique. All of the guts of the computer are housed in a small half sphere that resembles a sliced cantaloupe. The ethernet, USB, FireWire and all other ports line the rear of this base. A stainless steel rod juts out of the base and connects it to a flat panel display. At first glance it looks like a desk lamp, but don”t let that fool you, there”s a huge amount of engineering involved in a computer with this form. The simple problem of balancing the computer itself must have been daunting.

Even its accessories are designed well. On the all models, an all white Apple Pro Mouse and Keyboard are included. The Apple Pro Mouse is one button (stop complaining) and optical, making it easy to use anywhere. Also, small, powerful Harmon Kardon speakers are included on the higher end models.

One of the coolest aspects of the new iMac is moving the screen. You can move the display with a touch of the its surrounding clear plastic “halo.” The stainless steel rod allows movement in a half circle and up and down. If you”ve ever strained your back because your monitor was too low, this feature will save you hundreds in chiropractic bills.

The hardware is top-notch. On the high-end version a SuperDrive (a drive that can read and write CDs and DVDs) is included. So, if you”re looking to burn that amazing new Beta Band album or a home movie for a friend, you can do both on one machine.

Its flat screen is stunning. Although it”s only 15 inches, its high resolution allows for a viewable area that is equal to a typical 17 inch monitor. Also, like most flat-panels, it”s easy on your eyes. Plus its GeForce 2 graphics chip makes everything look even better.

The iMac”s processor has also been upgraded from a G3 to a G4. This makes the iMac one of the fastest Macs on the market and certainly the fastest iMac ever made. This helps if you doing anything audio or graphically intensive and makes processor-hungry OS X much faster.

Arguably the best feature on the new iMacs is the system”s software. IDVD, iMovie, iTunes, and iPhoto come with the system and make it easy to create and organize music, movies and photos. Additionally, the new iMac uses Mac OS X, a powerful and easy to use operating system. The beauty and integration of the iMac”s hardware and software makes it a force to be reckoned with.

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